Majestic Mapp was a McDonald’s All-American and was the pride of St. Raymond’s High School in New York City. He played his college ball at the University of Virginia and was a sure fire, can’t miss NBA talent. But as he played a pickup game, readying himself for his sophomore year at UVA on an August day in 2000, he heard a loud pop in his right knee. It took five surgeries and more than 2 1/2 years before he played a game again for Virginia. This is Majestic Mapp’s Y1 on 1:
1. What have you learned from sports that have helped you most in life?
I have learned how to be disciplined and apply discipline in everything I do in life. I believe that because I learned the value of discipline at an early age that I am able to be determined and dedicated to accomplish and attain all of my goals and aspirations by the grace of God.
2. Who helped guide you on your path to becoming a pro or college athlete?
I have had many different influential people in life. As far as coaches, I’ve had an abundance of great coaching. Mr. Mapp, my dad was a great coach as were Mr. Lamont Dyson, my middle school coach, Mr. Dermon Player and Mr. Dave Jones who coached my AAU team. Mr. Paige who was my trainer growing up and last but not least my High School Coach Gary DeCesare, who was the hardest coach I had to play for. Coach Decesare did a lot to groom my career and help me become the hard worker that I am today on and off the court. I was blessed to have these coaches in my life.
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3. What is the greatest moment in your sports career and what do you recall most about it?
One of the greatest moments in my sports career was being selected to the High School McDonald’s All American Team and Game. I recall being around the best 24 high school basketball student athletes in the world at that time and really enjoyed the experience of getting to know all of the guys and sharing their experiences.
4. Whether they be good or bad, share a pivotal memory from your time as a youth athlete.
The pivotal time of my career was when I got injured and tore my ACL. I was literally just working out, getting better and putting in work as I would normally do. It was pivotal because I was on my way to having a breakout year and plans changed. I went from being in a position to play basketball, the game I love most, to not knowing if I would ever play again.
5. Would you advise youth athletes to play multiple sports or specialize and focus on only one? Why so?
Each situation is different for each athlete. As an athlete you must identify what is best for you. You must decide if you are playing for recreation or the love of the sport. Once you know that you’re playing for the love of the sport, then it’s up to you and your parents to balance them. Balance is the only way to make it work.
6. What specific advice do you have for youth athletes?
My advice for youth athletes is to have patience with the process of becoming good/great at your craft/sport. Always put education first. Education is essential to becoming a well-rounded student athlete and individual.
7. Looking back, is there anything on your journey that you would have changed or done differently?
Wow Tough question. I would have took my time with the process of going to college. It is extremely overwhelming at 17 years old to know what choices to make and what the right choice will be. Everything happens quickly when you are at a high level and perform at a high level so take your time and slow the process down.
8. Outside of sports, what are some of your other interests?
I enjoy listening to all types of music, reading and writing poetry and also watching the latest movies.
9. Do you take part in any philanthropic endeavors or work with any charities?
Yes I do, however, I just do it as a kind gesture to make sure the people and kids around me are ok.